Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865), the sixteenth President of the United States, successfully led his country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, only to be assassinated as the war was coming to an end. Before becoming the first Republican elected to the Presidency, Lincoln was a lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and an unsuccessful candidate for election to theSenate.
As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. During his time in office, he contributed to the effort to preserve the United States by leading the defeat of the secessionist Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. He introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing hisEmancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoting the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which passed Congress before Lincoln's death and was ratified by the states later in 1865.
Lincoln closely supervised the victorious war effort, especially the selection of top generals, includingUlysses S. Grant. Historians have concluded that he handled the factions of the Republican Party well, bringing leaders of each faction into his cabinet and forcing them to cooperate. Lincoln successfully defused a war scare with the United Kingdom in 1861. Under his leadership, the Union took control of the border slave states at the start of the war. Additionally, he managed his own reelection in the 1864 presidential election.
Opponents of the war (also known as "Copperheads") criticized Lincoln for refusing to compromise on the slavery issue. Conversely, the Radical Republicans, an abolitionist faction of the Republican Party, criticized him for moving too slowly in abolishing slavery. Even with these road blocks, Lincoln successfully rallied public...